Washington Wizards: Matchup with Brooklyn Nets is now a must-win

If game one in the bubble wasn’t a must-win game for the Washington Wizards, game two is.

The Washington Wizards entered the NBA restart as long shots to secure a playoff spot. Needing to gain at least 1.5 games on the Orlando Magic and 2.0 games on Brooklyn Nets in just eight seeding games to force a playoff play-in game, the odds weren’t in their favor.

However, with their two first games being vs the Phoenix Suns and Brooklyn Nets, two sub-.500 teams, the Wizards had a chance to make up some early ground. However, they failed to capitalize on a Nets loss and dropped their own opener to the Suns 125-112.

Of all the teams the Wizards will play in the bubble, the Suns entered with the worst winning percentage.

Now, they must win their second matchup in the bubble if they have any hope of making the playoffs.

The Washington Wizards must defeat the Brookly Nets if they want to make the playoffs.

The Wizards currently sit 6.0 games behind the eighth-place Brooklyn Nets. The Magic have pulled away a bit, now claiming the seventh seed and a 6.5 game lead on the Wizards. At this point, the Wizards probably won’t catch the Magic.

Catching the Nets won’t be easy, either. The Wizards have just seven games to pull within 4.0 games of the Nets and force a play-in opportunity. After Sunday, their schedule only gets harder. The Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Boston Celtics are still waiting.

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Stealing games against those healthy contenders will be much more difficult for the young Wizards than beating up on a broken-down Nets team. Brooklyn is in the bubble fighting for their playoff lives without Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie, Taurean Prince, and Wilson Chandler.

In game one,  it showed. The Wizards weren’t the same against the Suns without Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans. But the Nets weren’t the same without their top contributors, either. Although the final score was respectable in their 128-118 loss to the Orlando Magic, the Nets enter the fourth quarter trailing by 29 points and the Magic staters barely played in the final frame.

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If the Wizards can get a win over the Nets and improve their restart record to 1-1, they’ll be within 5.0 games of the Brooklyn Nets, just one win from a possible playoff birth. If not, the Nets will have a nearly unreachable 7.0 game lead with only six seeding games remaining.

It’s only game two of the restart, but this is a must-win for the Wizards.

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